Near Field Communication, abbreviated as NFC is a technology, which allows two devices to establish communication placed within a few centimeters of each other. The communication can be between two electronic devices, one of which is usually portable such as Smartphone or tablet. Besides, both devices must be equipped with NFC chips for an NFC transaction to take place. This wireless technology transmits data in the form of electromagnetic radio fields, which is used even in payment services like Google Wallet and Apple Pay. Today, you can see this technology in more Android and Windows phones and Apple's iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and Apple Watch.
NFC works in two ways:
One-way communication: In this method, powered devices such as phone, commuter card terminal, credit card reader reads and writes to an NFC chip. So, whenever, you tap your commuter card on the terminal, the NFC powered terminal subtracts the money from the balance that is written on the card.
Two-way communication: This method involves two devices; both of them can read and write to each other. For instance, using NFC you can now touch two Android devices together to transfer data like contacts, images, videos, etc.
NFC- Simplifies the transaction process
NFC can simplify and speed up the payment process instead of carrying both wallet and Smartphone. For instance: NFC lets consumers to carry only Smartphone which can be used as a virtual wallet. You can make payment by waving one device to another or tapping both the devices together. This method facilitates transaction and eliminates the need to check identification using biometric function. This provides safety against credit card theft. With this technology consumers can pay retailers and each other. It can also be used in subway cards and credit cards that can be waved over card readers, household appliances, and various electronic devices that can be monitored and controlled through Smartphone.
Comparison with Bluetooth
NFC consumes less power than Bluetooth this makes NFC perfect for passive devices, such as the advertising tags. But it affects the range of transmission, which is shorter and slower than Bluetooth. However, NFC can connect the devices faster than Bluetooth, thus mobile payments can be made faster. Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Apple Pay for iOS make use of this technology.
Practical applications of NFC